The MoD has rightly asked the public to refrain from sending gifts to troops overseas independently. This can overwhelm the postal system and result in big delays (which means people do not get gifts from their loved ones) but can also add additional risk for those sent to collect additional mail.
It is absolutely right that people want to express their gratitude demonstrate how much they value those on the frontline, and so below are a number of suggestions for how else you can support service men and women at this time of year.
If you want to send our troops a Christmas gift then do so with UK4UThanks!, a charity which works with the Services and the MoD to ensure that all Servicemen and women who are serving away at Christmas receive a box, whether they are in the Army, Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force, and wherever they are in the world. You can find out more here. And you can visit their site here.
If you want to make a donation which will make a difference to the lives of those on the frontline and go towards the items they choose, then please give to the SSAFA Operational Welfare Fund. Examples of items purchased through the fund are Wii handsets, portable DVD players and games and table tennis tables. The MOD provides a comprehensive Deployed Welfare Package, but there is room for more. You can give money here.
You can buy your gifts for your loved ones this year from the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Shop. All profits from the Poppy Shop go to help the work of The Royal British Legion in its role of caring and campaigning for our Armed Forces and their families. Please visit here.
This year Help For Heroes are providing Christmas stockings filled with treats to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Headley Court and the Personal Recovery Centres this year. This is a fantastic way to support those going through recovery. Please find out more here.
Finally, one thing we should all be doing is supporting the military wives to get to Christmas Number One! We’re right behind them. You can back them through the SSAFA website here. And while you’re there look at the SSAFA Forces Help Christmas Catalogue.